Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pioppini and a poached egg

I am an absolute maniac for mushrooms. Fortunately there's an awesome mushroom farmer at my local market. I've seen the most amazing mushrooms there. I'm talking some pretty crazy stuff - like something that truly resembled blanched brains. I ended up in a love affair with the velvet pioppini. Yes, it is absolutely inviting with its long, lean stems and tiny, deep brown heads. Also, its texture is firm in your mouth, regardless of how much heat you give it. But the best thing for me, as someone who tries to forgo meat, is that it makes the perfect pairing with bold red wines.

You can use the pioppini anywhere you would use mushrooms. Atop a pizza is perfect. I like them lightly sauted, as in this recipe. Served with a poached egg on top and more veggies below, I end up with the perfect small dinner that feels a lot bigger than it is.

  • 1/2 head chard (or spinach), stems removed
  • 1 pint pioppini mushroms, bottoms chopped off
  • 1/s t fresh thyme and rosemary, minced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 poached egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
Put a large sauce pan over high heat and add 1 T olive oil. As the oil heats up, thinly slice the chard. Add the chard to the pan and saute, stirring continually, till fully wilted, approximately 2 minutes. Remove from pan, lower heat to medium, and add the rest of the olive oil. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil for the egg. Add 1 T white vinegar right before adding the egg.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and then the egg to the boiling water and turn down slightly. Use a wooden spoon to keep the whites of the egg from separating from the rest of the egg. Stir the mushrooms and add the herbs and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep stirring approximately 2-3 minutes (until the egg is done to your liking).

Make a pile of the chard in a deep bowl. On top of that, pile your lovely pioppini. Then place the poached egg at the very top, like a poached egg cherry on a vegetable sundae (hmm, that sounded better in my head).

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